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2014 Light-Heavyweight Supersport Shootout Conclusion

Monday, January 27, 2014


Adam Waheed, 34, Road Test Editor – 6’0”, 178 pounds – Racing: Suzuki GSX-R750

The F3 800 by MV Agusta literally blew me away during this test. And over the next few years this bike is going to get better and better. But for now it is too much of an unknown to race on, plus it’s the most expensive. And good luck getting parts if you crash. Although I didn’t enjoy riding it as much as the F3 when it comes down to it you can’t beat the stone axe reliability of a GSX-R. Parts are abundant, they are relatively easy to set-up for racing and there are tons of tuners out there that would have a field day hopping this thing up. If I was going racing I would do it on a Suzuki—no question.

Jason Pridmore, 43, AMA Champ and Star Motorcycle School Instructor – 6’0”, 185 pounds Racing: MV Agusta F3 800

I don’t know what class I would race it in. But I would probably take that 800 and race it up against 1000s. I think I could go pretty well on it with some minor tweaks. The lap time I did on it wasn’t that much slower then what some of the guys are racing out here at Chuckwalla. I would love to race the MV.

Corey Neuer, 35,  Expert-Level Racer, owner CT Racing – 5’10”, 160 pounds – Racing: Suzuki GSX-R750

Overall the GSX-R750 was one of the easier bikes for me to go fast on. I feel really confident on it everywhere on track. The motor is certainly no fire breather but it has power when needed and the torque curve is linear and usable. Combined with a very balanced chassis the GSX-R handles great with very little effort. For me this bike had the best of everything and would be the one I would go racing on.

Chris Northover, 27, Superbike Road Test Editor– 5’8”, 156 pounds – Racing: Ducati 899 Panigale

After a day spent hammering the MV, Ducati, Suzuki and Kawasaki around Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, the big question is which of the four would I pick for a race bike? The obvious answer would be to check out the lapboard and take the fastest bike, right? Well that’d put the GSX-R750 bang at the top of the list and, you know what, that might not be too bad a choice. The Suzuki was definitely the easiest bike to get on and ride hard; with some money spent trimming the weight by fitting race fairings and a full titanium exhaust you’d have a pretty formidable track bike. On the day, the Ninja felt the most like a race bike, but at 636cc it’s too big to race against 600s and too small to race against these guys. Corner speed is no use when someone’s out-dragged you on the straight and parked a Ducati 899 right in your way mid-turn. And the MV, well, that definitely felt like it had the most potential for extreme highs and sobering lows as a racer. If you fancy your bike development skills are pretty special then get stuck in – a well-sorted MV F3 800 would be unstoppable. Just don’t expect it to be an easy task.

So what would I pick? Heh, the Ducati. Why? It’s somewhere between the get-on-and-win GSX-R and the development mountain that is the MV. The GSX-R will win the opening three rounds of our imaginary race series, I’ll make a fight-back mid season on the Ducati and by the final three races, no doubt Adam and the MV Agusta will be untouchable.


2014 Light-Heavyweight Supersport Shootout Specs
Kawasaki
ZX-6R
MV Agusta
F3 800
 Ducati
899 Panigale
Suzuki
GSX-R750
Engine: 636cc liquid-cooled Inline Four, 16-valve Engine: 798cc liquid-cooled Inline Three 12-valve Engine: 898cc liquid-cooled L-Twin; 8-valve Engine: 750cc liquid-cooled Inline Four, 16-valve 
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 x 45.1mm Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 54.3mm Bore x Stroke: 100.0 x 57.2mm Bore x Stroke: 70.0 x 48.7mm
Compression: 12.9:1 Compression:13.3:1 Compression:12.5:1 Compression: 12.5:1
Fueling: Fuel-injection Fueling: Fuel Injection w/ twin injectors per cylinder Fueling: Fuel-injection Fueling: Fuel-injection
Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type with electronic quickshifter Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type with electronic quickshifter Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type
Clutch: Wet, F.C.C.; Cable actuation Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; Cable actuation Clutch: Wet multi-plate; Hydraulic actuation Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; Cable actuation
Final Drive: Chain; 16/43 gearing Final Drive: Chain; 16/43 gearing Final Drive: Chain; 15/44 gearing Final Drive: Chain; 16/43 gearing
Frame:Twin-spar aluminum Frame: Steel tubular trellis and aluminum Frame: Monocoque aluminum Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Front Suspension: 41mm Showa BP-SFF with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 4.7 in. travel
Front Suspension: 43mm Marzocchi fork with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 4.92 in. travel Front Suspension: Showa 43mm inverted fork; three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.72 in. travel Front Suspension: 43mm inverted Showa BPF; three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak equipped gas-charged shock with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 5.3 in. travel Rear Suspension: Sachs gas-charged shock with spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjustment; 4.84 in. travel Rear Suspension:Sachs gas-charged shock; three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 5.12 in. travel Rear Suspension: Showa gas-charged shock; four-way adjustable for spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping; 4.9 in. travel
Front Brakes: 310mm petal discs, radial-mount monobloc-style four-piston Nissin calipers Front Brakes: 320mm discs, radial-mount  Brembo monobloc calipers Front Brakes: 320mm discs with radial-mount Brembo four-piston M4 monobloc calipers Front Brakes: 300mm discs with radial-mount Brembo monobloc four-piston calipers
Tires: Bridgestone Battlax S20; 120/70R17, 180/55R17 Tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa; 120/70R17, 180/55R17 Tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa; 120/70R17, 180/55R17 Tires: Bridgestone BT-016; 120/70R17, 180/55R17
Curb Weight: 424 lbs. Curb Weight: 428 lbs. Curb Weight: 437 lbs. Curb Weight: 427 lbs.
Wheelbase: 54.9 in. Wheelbase: 54.23 in. Wheelbase: 56.57 in. Wheelbase: 54.7 in.
Rake: 23.5 deg Rake: 23.6 deg. Rake: 24.0 deg. Rake: 23.0 deg.
Seat Height: 32.7 in Seat Height: 31.96 in. Seat Height: 32.48 in Seat Height: 31.9 in.
Fuel Tank: 4.5 gal. Fuel Tank: 4.22 gal. Fuel Tank: 4.5 gal. Fuel Tank: 4.5 gal.
MSRP: $11,699 MSRP: $15,798 MSRP: $14,998 MSRP: $12,299

 








2014 Light-Heavyweight Track Shootout
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View Slideshow
2014 Light-Heavyweight Torque Chart.2014 Light-Heavyweight Horsepower Chart.
Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa Race Tires
 


While each motorcycle in this shootout comes with quality, track-capable rubber off the showroom floor, we needed to extort the maximum sport capabilities of each machine. So we had race tire ace, Chris Maquire, of CT Racing, fit each bike with a set of Pirelli’s Diablo Supercorsa race tires (120/70-17 fronts and 180/60-17 rears, SC2 compound). Although similar in appearance to its outstanding SP V2 road and track tire, the SC compound rubber is engineered for competition use via the Italian outfits role as the spec tire supplier in the World Supersport and Supertock road racing series. Participation in those ultra-competitive classes necessitate constant development in terms of compounds and inner construction and these hoops do not disappoint offering ever-increasing levels of road holding and feel that other brands have a hard time matching.
 
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Comments
OutOfTheBox   March 5, 2014 05:46 PM
Funny I was just thinking about this yesterday...the Gixxer is a solid sportbike but without either ABC or TC it's a has-been. The motorcycling equivalent of shaving with a straight-edge. Now, sure, you can put TC at least on it for another grand in the aftermarket but still. When ABS is an aftermarket add-on then it will reclaim its rightful place. Second if DDC is here then dynamic springing has to be close. So we have to look forward to...tricked-out bikes that cost an arm and a leg, vs basic bikes that are easy to buy that have a host of aftermarket parts waiting for them. Who knows where all the Fazer 600s are now, but I know there wouldn't be nearly as many if they were as expensive as the 750s were. Bikes don't need to be perfect.
RENDELL   February 1, 2014 12:47 PM
I've been to Italy and I liked it. I lived in Japan and I loved it there! Japan is infatuated with perfection and it shows in their craftsmanship. All these bikes are cool. If you want ONE bike that does it all get the GSXR or the 636. I own the 2013 636 Ninja (my 10th motorcycle) and it does everything exceedingly well! That 3 cyclinder machine sounds super bad ass though. I like the L-Twin on the Duc too. I had an '03 RC51 v-twin superbike and it was fantastic even though it weighed almost as much as a Boeing 747 but it is still my favorite bike of all time.
NinthOption   January 30, 2014 12:46 AM
The MV looks amazing but I just don't know if I'd buy one after reading that one of MUSA's editors was "literally" blown away by it during the test. I'm not sure I can take that kind of a risk. If that could happen to a profession under close supervision imagine how easily one of us could blow away! MV clearly has some work to do to keep their products from blowing people that far. My heart goes out to the editor's family and I hope that they are able to find him, wherever it was he landed after being blown away.
Poncho167   January 28, 2014 02:52 PM
I also would go with the Suzuki. The Italian bikes are nice, but for value the GSX-R would be my choice.
CS23   January 28, 2014 07:42 AM
Great read, very impressed on how the 636 stacked up, can't help but wonder if with a QS if it would've been a little close to the MV's lap time. Can't wait for the street review!
Superlight   January 28, 2014 07:39 AM
Finally the media sees what I saw - the MV is a compelling ride. The handing and sounds are amazing, not to mention the appearance (the latter is subjective, of course). I'd agree the Japanese choices are more user-friendly, but I don't buy a bike for its practicality - the experience is what I want and the F3 delivers in spades.
OutOfTheBox   January 27, 2014 07:02 PM
...Adam was about 4 seconds faster in this test than in the 2011 superbike shootout. Comparing the gixxer 750s times to the 1000's, the 899 to the 1200 Panigale, the 10R to the 6R...with maybe a 5% difference in bike-weights.
DanPan   January 27, 2014 05:10 PM
Nice Job..... Being an old Daytona 675 owner, I was lucky to have tried last year at Mt-Tremblant racetrack in Canada an F3 675. The bike felt really great. I can only imagine how the 800 is.... But then again, I'm a Brutale owner MC-USA, thank's for the this shootout........